Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anyone for tennis?

The end of August means the beginning of the U.S. Open and Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. This being our fourth year, we knew to take the comfortable and speedy LIRR train option instead of riding the lumbering 7 Train to its end. We also knew to go early and to head straight for the Hess obstacle course and still the free racquets were gone by the time The Boy made it onto the court. Still, both he and Q earned a fan, sunglasses, and a light up Hess ladder truck toy.

Then it was on to the Little Tennis activities. And this year he was ready to return the balls hit to him by the volunteers. He himself said, "I did much better this year, mom."


(Note: For what it's worth, the above pic got picked up by a contributor to NowPublic.com for an article on the Open, and they have The Boy rubbing elbows, picture-wise anyway, with the likes of Federer, Nadal, and Ivanovic. Or go here for a direct link to the photo itself.)

The lines started to get long as it neared noon, but we heard that Nike was giving free shirts so we headed to that court for a little SPARQ training.

His better
The Boy always steps out into all the flying kids and balls, running to where he's told with his face full of intensity. Q was not in the mood so didn't do much besides look sweaty and eat all the granola bars.

This year we also knew to eat lunch in the shade in the Grandstand court while we watched some pros we didn't recognize hit amazingly hard to each other. (Tip: Don't try to snag one of the tables out by the food stalls around 12 p.m. — too busy, too hot, too messy. Bring your lunch, buy some fries that "look like tennis racquets," according to The Boy, and enjoy the pros showing off. )

We left not long after that and just a little before the Big Show started in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and after the hours and the crowds The Boy still wanted to stay. The whole thing does make you just want to go out and play. Glad he felt it, too.

We've been taking in a lot of sports lately, in fact, which is somewhat weird for us. Watching the Olympics became a nightly ritual before Q and The Boy dismounted into their beds. (We even let them stay up extra late for the opening and closing ceremonies, which The Boy rightly pronounced "flashy.") Now it's the U.S. Open before dreams, and then maybe I'll get both Q and The Boy to watch basketball with me when the time comes.

Arthur Ashe Kids' Day also signals the end of summer. In a week, The Boy starts Kindergarten, and Q begins her own classes shortly thereafter. Outside will give way to inside, and t-shirts to jackets, then to coats. And we lose them, it seems, just a little more to the people they will become.

1 comment:

teahouse said...

Very nice post! And very nice photos.

I haven't gone to the U.S. Open in years. I do play tennis as part of a USTA league, though. I'd like to bring my children to watch tennis when they come along.